by Kimberly Raye, historical/time-travel (2000)
LoveSpell, $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52392-2
Reading about ditzes boinking is always an excruciating experience.
Midnight Fantasies is the story of a woman with active sexual imagination - Elizabeth Carlton - who opens a sex-fantasies-for-sale store. But in a case of trying to play it safe, Lizzie is actually a very bored (read: desperate) woman who is as pristine as the white hankies of her Governor daddy. That's the problem - Daddy's a big shot with lots of power, and our sweet girl just can't loosen up in fear of destroying Daddy's reputation!
So when she gets sent back in time as a stripteasing hussy showgirl, she gets the chance to remove her chastity belt, so to speak. Hired to teach Colt Durango's brother to do the polka-wolka dance, she decides to get the big bro instead. Now that part is funny and okay - Lizzie teaching the clueless younger brother to kiss a mirror is just hilarious.
But for some reason, Lizzie, never a bright woman in the first place, lost what little remains of her IQ when she finally gets Colt. She starts panicking - it can't be her he wants, it's this magic belt thing; oh, the pain, because she sooo-oooo-oooo loves him! - and wringing her hands and jumping around in Neurotica Valley. It's not a pretty sight. Insecurity, neuroses, and all sorts of things fashion magazine wanted to inflict on their readers to boost cosmetics sales - well, Lizzie has them in all their gory technicolor shades. It's not pretty. The funny scenes become excruciating because my laughter is at the expense of the heroine's dignity and credibility.
Midnight Fantasies starts out an intelligent farce, but halfway through it degenerates into an animated Ally McBeal TV show populated by Archie and his girlfriends. Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid.
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